Tough Traveling: Novices


The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan ofReview Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information.

This week’s tour topic is: Novices

Novice is a term in frequent use. There are not only Novice Priests and Priestesses and nuns: you will also encounter novice healers and bards, and sometimes also novice mages…Novices are always young, frequently skinny and undernourished, and clad in robes.

Mogsy’s Picks:

Life has been a bit busy lately and I had a bit of trouble this week coming up with new titles I didn’t talk about back in Tough Traveling: Mentor. Here’s a few I wanted to feature, but otherwise, take it away, Wendy!

Kushiel's DartKushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

The Court of Night-Blooming Flowers is the formal name given to a group of thirteen houses dedicated to serving the goddess Naamah. Its members are respected courtesans and highly sought after companions. Each house has a different way of preparing and training their novices, some who come to them at a very young age. A servant of Naamah will be a novice until they have their debut, usually at age 16, and become an adept. Once they earn enough to pay off and complete their marque (a very large and intricate tattoo that all Night Court members bear) they will finally become full-fledged courtesans.

711bd-agameofthronesA Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

In the world of Westeros, maesters are an order of scholars, healers, scientists and advisers trained at the Citadel in Oldtown. Here, a young man (women are barred from joining the order) will enter as a novice and undergo training until they have achieved the status of maester, earning links of certain metals until he has a full chain and is no longer considered a student.

Shattering the LeyShattering the Ley by Joshua Palmatier

Shattering they Ley takes place in a world where cities are powered by the Nexus and a system of magical ley lines. One of the main characters in this book is Kara, first introduced to us as a child, but later on in the book we see her grow into a young woman who joins the Wielders, a group of specialists who control this system of ley lines, before working her way up from novice to become a Prime.

 Wendy’s Picks

818ae-childrenoffireukChildren of Fire by Drew Karpyshyn

Four unique children are born under the portents of Chaos. They are each raised in different environments and must learn to survive accordingly. At least one of them sports appropriate robe-y attire.

Richard Cypher Legend of the Seeker Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Richard Cypher is so new that he doesn’t even know he’s the seeker who must learn the secret of wielding the Sword of Truth to cleanse the land of the evil Darken Rhal. He’s not clad in robes, nor is he malnourished. But he is kinda skinny at least.

 Shadowed SunShadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin

Hanani is a very skilled healer, but she is still only a Sharer Apprentice with much to learn. She’s also the only female that the Hetawa has permitted to learn the arts of narcomancy.

dragonflight pernDragon Flight by Anne Macaffrey

Lessa is seemingly nothing but a ragged kitchen girl when she regains her birthright and a place among the those dragonriders of Pern. She even gets to bond with a queen dragon and learn all the fun dragonrider stuff.

mistbornMistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Vin is a skilled young thief when we meet her, but her “luck” actually turns out to be her skill in allomancy. When she meets Kelsier, she learns that she’s not only an allomancer, but a mistborn–one of the precious few able to use all of the metals to perform incredible feats.

wizard of earthseaThe Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

A young boy uses his exceptional skills to aid his village, bringing him to the attention of a wizard who knows he is destined for even greater things. Master and apprentice go on a learning journey that eventually leads to wizard school.

way of shadowsThe Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

A young boy discards his old life as lackey to a petty crime lord to become apprentice to one of the deadliest assassins (a.k.a. wet boys) around.

16 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Novices”

  1. I should have throught about the Dreamblood example for sure. And I read Way of Shadows, should have remembered that one as well.

    Not one video game reference from you two? I find myself slightly shocked by this.


  2. Awesome – nice to see somebody else thought of Kushiel’s Dart, although I completely overlooked The Misborn novels.


  3. At least Nathan didn’t go and change the theme on you like last week! And, that’s a pretty impressive list you’ve got there, Wendy! My sole contribution is Granuaile from Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles, and I only thought of her cuz Danya jogged my memory with her post.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.


  4. I own Kushiel’s Dart, but I’m afraid to read it. I thought of Arya from A Song of Ice and Fire, I’d forgotten about the maesters! Nice choices, I really liked Wizard’s First Rule and Dragon Flight.


  5. Such a great list this week – even if the topic changed on you – LOL!
    I really enjoyed Kushiel’s Dart and did think of it but couldn’t quite figure out or get my tiny brain around whether it counted or not!!
    Lynn 😀


  6. Great call on the Maesters, Mogsy! Wow, I didn’t think of that at all. Wendy, you absolutely killed it this week! I’m still shaking my head over the fact that I forgot about Vin, and Richard is a perfect choice as well.


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